Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spread of Bird Flu Strains Slowed at Some Borders

27.02.2008
Study Results Detail H5N1 Migration, Provide Means to Measure Intervention Success

Several strains of the bird flu virus that raged across southern China were blocked from entering Thailand and Vietnam, UC Irvine researchers have discovered.

This first-ever statistical analysis of influenza A H5N1’s genetic diversity helps scientists better understand how the virus migrates and could, in the future, help health officials determine whether efforts to thwart its spread were successful.

“Some countries appear more exposed to bird flu invasion than others. Learning that is a good step in discovering which social and ecological factors promote, or, on the other hand, hamper the virus’ spread,” said Robert G. Wallace, a postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study.

... more about:
»H5N1 »PLoS »Researcher »Virus »flu

The results appear online Feb. 27 in the journal PLoS ONE.

Since its emergence in 1996, H5N1 has only sporadically been passed from birds to humans. Although only about 350 human cases of this influenza have been recorded worldwide, its high mortality rate raises concerns that if the virus mutates in such a way that humans can pass it on, a deadly flu pandemic may result. More than 60 percent of humans who contract the virus die from it.

In this study, Wallace and Walter M. Fitch, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCI, analyzed nearly 500 publicly available genetic sequences of proteins found on the surface of the influenza virus. These sequences originally were collected from 28 Eurasian and African localities through 2006.

The study also showed that H5N1 strains circulating in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam shared the most evolutionary history with H5N1 circulating in several provinces in southern China. The provinces, Guangdong, Fujian and Hong Kong, are engaged in intensive international trade, including poultry. Previous research has concluded the poultry trade is a key mechanism for the spread of the H5N1 virus.

The researchers suggest that health officials trying to block new strains of the virus from spreading could use the methods employed in this study to determine whether interventions are working.

“You can think of it as a type of evolutionary forensics,” Wallace said. “When a bomb explodes, investigators can determine how many charges went off and the strength and direction of the blast, all from the resulting damage alone. Here we can determine the way H5N1 has spread and evolved by the resulting viral diversity.”

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Disclaimer
The following press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS ONE. The release has been provided by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in this are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.

Rebecca Walton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0001697

Further reports about: H5N1 PLoS Researcher Virus flu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified
26.03.2019 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Decoding the genomes of duckweeds: low mutation rates contribute to low genetic diversity
26.03.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>